I joined the dating site Plenty of Fish in Nov 2021. I found this charming guy who seemed too good to be true. However, I believed him. We clicked right away and moved from the dating site to Google Hangout chat. He told me he was an engineer and was divorced with two kids, and the neighbor was keeping an eye on the kids when he was working.
About a week after we started chatting, he told me he was falling in love with me. On December 8th, he told me he loved me. I thought it was too fast, and we got into an argument. Later that day, we did a short video chat because he was having an audio issue. I saw him for a couple of seconds, so he looked legit.
On Dec 16, 2021, he told me he was sent to work in Aberdeen, Scotland, for a construction project. He sent me the proposal (I have a record of this). I Googled the company listed on that proposal, and it was in an industrial area in West Vancouver, so I assumed it was somewhere in that building.
On December 31, he told me that since he was in Aberdeen, he couldn’t access his bank account and asked me to do a transfer for him via his bank account. I hesitated, which led to a fight, but I eventually did it. It was for $72,100 USD to a construction company called Ovialsum in Las Vegas (I have a record of this). That was the only time he did a transaction using his bank account.
On January 5, 2022, he told me he received the shipment bill of those materials he ordered and asked me to get into his bank account once again. Only this time, the account was dormant/inactive. After that, that’s when the money scam began. He told me he contacted his bank and had to pay 1.65% of the total deposited in the account. Since I previously saw his bank account, I knew there was close to 2million in his account. He told me he had to pay around $8000 USD. He kept telling me that he was thinking and trying to find a solution. While at the same time, we kept the conversation going, and he got hurt when I told him I liked him, but I did not love him as he talked about future dates.
On Jan 8, he told me he was able to raise $3000 from his colleagues. He told me that if I decided to help him, it should be something that I wanted to do and tried to guilt me into giving him the money. I told him I wouldn’t do it. He then insisted, which ended up in a fight. He kept saying, “If you were in my shoes, you would understand.” I encouraged him to get in touch with his boss, who apparently was “out of town,” and that he transferred all the money from his Canadian bank account into the bank account, I had access to. He kept guilting me when I told him to ask his friends. He told me he didn’t have any as his friends because they slept with his ex-wife. He kept playing the victim and “poor me” card. I encouraged him to talk to the guys he supposedly was working with in Scotland. He talked about his mom, who passed away, to further guilting me.
On January 10, he told me he spoke with the guys he worked with, and they agreed to assist with $1000. He was very defensive when I brought up that he should ask his boss for help. On that day, it was the first time I asked him if I would loan him the money will he pay me back, and he assured me he would and even played that he was hurt that I even suggested that. He also said he would even pay me with interest, which I declined initially. On January 11, I made the first payment of $5,300 Canadian + $9.99 Canadian transaction fee to a bank account. That same day he sent me a picture of himself crying for joy.
On January 12, he told me he miscalculated the 1.65% he initially thought it would be and that it was $11,850 USD. Basically, he was missing $3,650 USD to have his account released so he could pay for the shipment. He again guilted me by playing the poor me card, and I sent $4,748 Canadian + $9.99 Canadian transaction fee.
On January 17, he got his account reinstated, or so I thought. He asked me to transfer the money back to my account as well as send the money to the shipping company since he couldn’t log in due to an IP address. The money was supposed to be sent to Streambeet LLC.
On January 19, he said he received an email from the bank that the money he sent to the shipping company and me was reversed back into his account. He told me they basically needed him to verify that he was the account owner. He also told me that the documents for doing so were locked in his place, and he was going to send a coworker to get them. However, the coworker refused, and then he remembered that it was locked in a safe that only his fingerprint could open. We went back and forth about this. He sent me pictures of him and his kids to build more trust around that time.
On January 20, I asked him if he could fly back to Canada and get his account sorted and then fly back, and he said he had to be there physically. He kept saying, “Don’t let my problem bother you, ” and I responded to him that I would if I could help him. He then told me that if I wished, I could. He basically was manipulating me. I ended up asking the delivery company if they could accept a deposit (part of the money) via email. The following day he asked if I received a response from the delivery company, which I did where they asked for 80% of what he was supposed to be paying. I kept on insisting I couldn’t help him, and he asked how much I could help him. I told him I couldn’t and that I had already given more than I should’ve, and he kept saying how he wanted it all the be over so he could come back to Canada to his kids and me. I responded that I knew that, but all my bills were due, and I couldn’t. I suggested trying his bank again, where we would send a smaller installment, and he kept insisting that he wouldn’t be able to because he was on the radar for trying to log in outside of Canada. He kept saying that it would only take eight days to finish the project once he had the shipment. I told him I couldn’t help him, and he kept saying, “It’s my problems, not yours, how have I gotten myself into this? You will not understand what I’m going through right now,” and so many phrases that made me feel sorry for him. He kept snapping, “I’m not sharing any of my problems with you since each time I do that, you just take it back at me,” and how I would be suffering alone.
On January 22, I gave in to him as he constantly played the victim card. He assured me he would be paying me back. I contacted the shipment company on his behalf again, asking if the money could be split into two installments because of my daily limit. After that, his mood changed again, and he became happy talking about our first date and things we would be doing together once he was back. He kept assuring me he loved me.
On January 23, after him guilting me again, I made the first installment of a transfer of $6500 Canadian + $9.99 Canadian transition fee. On January 24, the second installment of $2,155.73 Canadian + $9.99 Canadian transaction fee. The receiver on the other end did not receive it, so I could reverse these transactions and get the money back the following week. He was so stressed that I wouldn’t get the money back. On Feb 8, I went physically to a bank and made a wire transfer for him $8300 Canadian + $50 Canadian transaction fee. The shipping company told him that he needed to pay another $5500 USD (demurrage fee: $3,000, restricted consignment movement fee: $2,500). He kept assuring me we would be together, and so on Feb 15, I agreed to pay that via e-transfer, but the other side was unable to deposit it. The bank deposited it back into my account the following day.
On Feb 19, I went again to the bank and wired $6,810.00 Canadian + $50 Canadian. He assured me he would be paying me back. On March 3, we were told that the shipment was stuck in turkey, which I didn’t understand why it was going through Turkey as the end destination was Scotland. He needed another $6,500 USD to get convention papers. After fighting about it, he was able to get $500 USD from the people he worked with.
On March 8, I paid $7,720.00 Canadian + $50 Canadian transaction fee. He assured me he would be paying me back once again as soon as he got back home.
On March 15, he went to the port and realized that he didn’t have money to pay the lading/ vat and Import tax bill. That he left ashamed, pulling more victim guilt. Then later, he got an email from the shipping company of $11,550 USD (bill of lading/ vat : $3,850 USD +import tax : $7,700 USD). At this point, I suggested for him to go to the board and tell them. He did and told me they rejected it because it wasn’t part of the contract. After a couple of days of going back and forth, I really just wanted my money back. On March 21, I sent $14,870.63 Canadian + $50 Canadian transaction charge.
On March 31, he said he went to the facility again only to find out that they wouldn’t release his shipment until he paid the outstanding balance of $1700 USD, interest on delayed payment of $1100 USD, and vat on delivery of $200 USD. At this point, I was just exhausted and wanted my money back. I ended up paying $3,911.90 Canadian. The next month he focused on finishing his job. He told me he asked the company he did the job for to deposit the rest of the contract into his RBC bank account, which he told me they would be depositing it at the end of April, but he wanted to be home beforehand.
On April 15, he told me he needed more money for the flight being rescheduled and to pay back to the men he worked with and the cafeteria where he was eating his whole stay. He kept saying he was sorry for putting so much stress on me. He also told me that the contract paid him into his offshore account. He told me his flight was on April 24, and then his contract needed one more day so his flight was changed to April 25. Because I was so exhausted and invested, I told him I could only loan him $5800 Canadian.
On April 21, he told me the fastest way for him to receive it was bitcoins. That I would be sending it to an exchanger who would give him the money. I refused at first, but he was very convincing. I took out cash from my bank of $5800 Canadian and sent it to him via bitcoins on April 23-24. Then he told me he would get back home on April 26.
On April 27, he told me he was going to the bank to rectify his account. That same day he told me the bank needed his contract from Scotland to prove that he was the one attempting to log in. He did not bring it with him, so he returned to the bank the following day. Then he told me that the bank needed him to pay more tax on the amount he received from the contract. I really just wanted my money back.
On May 3, I took out $4000 Canadian in cash. I told him lets meet face to face so I can give you that money. He refused, saying that he would feel ashamed and that our first meeting shouldn’t be me giving him money. He asked me to send it to his bitcoin wallet, which apparently he opened, and so did I on that same day.
Then on May 4, he told me he was going to the bank to get his account rectified. He told me that the account would be rectified before the next morning. When I asked him later that day if the account was back, he told me he would pay me the following day in the morning.
On May 5, he asked me for my account details, and without thinking straight, I did
(afterward, I got a new account). He told me he sent me $68000 USD even though he owed me $62,381.15. He also told me I would be getting it in 2 -3 business days.
We did decide to meet on May 7, at a local restaurant. When it was almost time to meet, he texted me, saying that he had to feed his kids and would be on his way. It would take no more than 20mins. He never showed up after I waited for 2.5 hours. I got home and was absolutely devastated. However, 3.5 hours post-meeting, he contacted me again. He told me his GPS was taking him to a different location. He told me he was on his way over to my place, and I came to my senses and told him to go home. He did not contact me afterward until the following day. That day he told me how he was “driving” happily to my place and when he was “5 minutes” away from my place, he got my text where I told him to go home, and he drove home crying.
We then decided to meet up on Tuesday, May 10, even though I told him I would prefer the weekend. He was convincing. Of course, I didn’t get anything, and I even contacted my bank, which told me there was no transaction pending. The last contact from him was Tuesday, May 10, around 11:30 am, and he never showed up to the meeting. He hasn’t responded to any of my messages ever since.
Then on Thursday, May 12, during lunch, I was watching a TikTok video from a Social Catfish website when I realized he scammed me.
At first, I was really in shock and in pain. I did not sleep for two days. I just kept wondering and replaying our conversations. I was crying a lot and hated the fact that I fell for this, and I didn’t trust my gut. I kept searching and searching online for answers on what to do. One of the things I found was to start writing in a journal, which I did.
Then, I went and closed up my bank account on Saturday that week and got new bank cards (credit cards and debit). I also contacted Apple since the first thing I sent him was a gift card for iTunes. They shut down his account, and that felt like a win for me. The following day, I went and purchased a USB and a folder and started gathering all the information I had.
I also contacted “scam recovery” companies which I quickly learned were scams themselves. I almost fell for one actually because they were so convincing. They were from my home country, and one of them even tried to convince me in Hebrew (my native language ), but luckily I got my senses back and reported the transaction and got it reversed. I also canceled that credit card.
Then finally, on Sat, May 21, I went to the police after gathering all the information. While I know, I probably won’t get the 61.5k I lost. I just needed to do this for my own sake. Since then, I have been in touch with the police officer who is looking into my case.